Friday, September 14, 2012—Canada Parks Screwed Up

After a good night’s sleep, we met for breakfast, which was adequate, with a much more attentive and friendly Garrison House Inn staff member. We walked across the street to the Fort Anne National Historic Site, only to find that they closed on Friday and Saturday. Apparently, Parks Canada is facing severe budget cuts, and opted to close this site on what they maintained were the least visited days of the week. Even local merchants and inn keepers were unaware of this.  120914_Edited-1Nevertheless, we walked the one half kilometer trail around the grounds of this star-shaped fort. Fort Anne was built to protect the harbor of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. The fort repelled all French attacks during the early stages of King George’s War. It is now operated, except for Friday and Saturday, as Fort Anne National Historic Site, within the national park system and managed by Parks Canada. The 1797 officer’s quarters was renovated in the 1930s and now house the museum with exhibits about the fort’s history and historic artifacts from the area. Regrettably, we were unable to experience much of this site.

From Fort Anne we drove the short distance to Port Royal-The Habitation only to find it too closed on Friday and Saturday. The Habitation was established by France in 1605 and was that nation’s first successful settlement in North America. Port-Royal served as the capital of Acadia until its destruction by British military forces in 1613. France relocated the settlement and capital 5 miles upstream and to the south bank of the Annapolis River; the site of the present-day town of Annapolis Royal.  The relocated settlement kept the same name "Port-Royal" and served as the capital of Acadia for the majority of the 18th century until the British conquest of the colony in 1710, at which time the relocated settlement was renamed Annapolis Royal. The replica village resulted from significant lobbying by both part time and permanent residents. In the early 1900s, chiefly under the leadership of Harriet Taber Richardson, native of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and summer resident of the nearby town of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotian preservationists and historians began lobbying the Government of Canada to build a replica of the Habitation which stood from 1605 until its destruction in 1613. The government agreed, after much persuasion, to have the replica built on the original site. Construction took place from 1939-1941 and was based on a duplicate set of plans for the original Habitation that had been recently discovered in France. This reconstruction was the first National Historic Site in Canada to have a replica structure built. On May 25, 1925, the Government of Canada’s Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recognized the original Habitation at Port-Royal in the community of Port Royal, Nova Scotia for its heritage significance and granted the designation of the Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada. In the 1930s the site of the original Habitation was located in the community and the results of archeological excavations fed public interest in the period of the original French settlement. This interest had been increasing since the publication of Quietly My Captain Waits, an historical novel by Evelyn Eaton set in Port-Royal in the early 17th century.

Kay's favorite rose bud, Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, Nova ScotiaDisappointed by the closure of these two significant historical sites, we agreed to tempt fate and asked Kay to negotiate an early departure from the Garrison Inn, thinking it wouldn’t happen. She was successful (though I wasn’t surprised), but that left us without accommodations for the evening. We quickly packed and checked out, grateful that the otherwise "unfriendly" inn granted our request.

Before we departed Annapolis Royal, we toured the Annapolis Royal Historical Gardens which proved to be an awesome experience, far better than expected, and the highlight of our time in Annapolis Royal. They employ 10 gardeners to oversee the various vegetables and plants. We spent a couple of hours there and could have spent all day. The photo was taken in their expansive rose garden.

Leaving Annapolis Royal, we drove south to Digby to again sample their fine dining. Kay and Sandy had scallop "sandwiches", John had sausages, and I had fish cakes. The food was scrumptious. The restaurant is one of our two favorites in the Maritimes.

Our drive to the eastern shore was through a heavily forested lake region, reminding us of the lake region of the north woods in Minnesota. Both John and I were much interested in the smallmouth bass and brook trout fishing, but that will have to wait for the next trip. Our B&B, the Atlantic Sojourn, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (we definitely recommend this B&B)Near Lunenburg, Kay called the Atlantic Sojourn B&B where we had reservations for tomorrow evening, and they had two vacancies for this evening. We arrived shortly after Kay’s call, and were greeted by Sebelle, one of the two owners. We felt instantly at home as Sebelle is from Natchez. She and Susan have a super B&B, have left nothing to chance, thinking of everything.

We had dinner at a highly recommended pub, and though noisy, the food was great. After dinner, we spent some time relaxing in the lavishly appointed common areas, and then retired to our bedrooms for the evening.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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